Deborah Funmi Mupapa was abused physically and sexually abused by her step father at the age of 12, after years of emotional healing and redefined life purpose she founded “Empowerment of African women” a branch D&Ks foundation, based in Finland , DRC Congo and Nigeria. She has a strong desire to help other women in Africa that are undergoing similar experiences and are not able to speak out. The Inspirational speaker, author, gospel singer and entrepreneur is passionate about providing a secure future to the needy especially in Africa.
For Deborah, it has been an incredible journey. She narrates how she feels when she sees her reflection in the mirror which is a feeling of success despite her previous life experiences. She also goes ahead to tell of how one cannot appreciate good health if one has never been seriously ill, neither appreciate the food if one has never faced a famine or even appreciate peace if one has never been at war.
Growing up as a rejected child
My childhood prepared me to do what am doing without looking back No matter what I will come across on the journey. I do understand when a woman cries to me and…Deborah i was abuse or someone is going through life challenges of nothing to eat
Growing up as a rejected child from both parent was a big life challenge for me.
My mother left me at a tender age of 2yrs due to her second marriage issues, with this I couldn’t enjoy my childhood. I was left with my grandma whom I came to refer to as my mum. Back then my growing was not very rosy, later at the age of 7 years I lost my grandma. This made me lose hope in life since my grandma was like an angel to me and losing her left an empty feeling within me. From then on my life started to turn to the worse and the whole experience started feeling like a movie.
When my grandma died, I was with her in a sleeping room for more than 2days.I never knew that I was sleeping with a dead body, I had no meaning of death at that time, I just woke up each morning played outside and later come back to sleep by her side. This was until people around the village came to check on her because she had not been seen for a couple of days and found her dead. People started crying but I couldn’t get the meaning of that, I just knew she was sick that’s all. I still remember her last words to me was that, Deborah try to share with others whatever God gives you as much as you can, she also said that I should know that God is in my heart as He is in heaven. I never understood the meaning of those words until I grew up and found myself in a real world.
After death had dealt a cruel blow by snatching my grandma, family members from different places had to come so that they could decide who would take care of me. Despite all these meetings no one was ready to take me in thus I had to be placed under some temporary care by an unknown family. While under this care the search for my mother continued. However while living with these families I faced serious challenges because I was used as a housemaid whereby I slept in stores where they kept their firewood and sheep. Sometimes I would experience severe beating and also sometimes I had to eat leftovers and stay without food, as far as I can remember there was a time I have to eat the dog leftover food.
Women are faced with many responsibilities and are also faced with a lot of problems such as discrimination and domestic violence, why? Because the role of women in society has been greatly overseen in the last few decades. However, people now share a different perspective of women and their role in society today. This has been achieved through empowering young girls and women.
The D&K foundation of Empowerment of African women is a non-profit organization which is in the forefront to ensure that women have restored their rightful and dignified status in the society.
Our mission is to empower women thorough micro-enterprise, education, jobs and skills acquisition e.t.c. We are also currently working on certain projects which will help solve problems which in one way or another affect women and young girls thus preventing them to fully exploit their potential and abilities, some of these projects include:
Abused by my step dad at the age of 12 & how I healed
I was united with my biological mother at the age of 12, however my stepfather didn’t want me in their house and my mother was powerless to change that course. This brought more and more suffering even in my mother’s house since I was physically and sexually abused by my stepfather at 12 years old. I was so humiliated, and kept asking why I had to experience all this and who can take these pains away from me. I felt like I couldn’t make it any more in life, I felt less of a woman and thought that no man could ever look at me because of all what I have been through in my life. I was told to keep within me..which kill me within every single day of my at that time
Loneliness, pain and despair started to take a toll on me. I thought all my dreams were gone and wondered: why I was here at the first place?
Those were very painful moments, but the very moment I realized that the point of every failure is to make me move on; I realized that each day of my life would always present a new chance.
With this I have been able to move on and be happy I have also learnt not to look back but always focus on what to come. I also believe I have a mission to show the world how important women are.
Education also proved to be my only way of my hope and I had to sell boiled eggs and yam to be able to pay my school fees. That was the only thing I had to do, since my step father hated me and he was not ready to pay for my school fees. Thus I had to do everything to make sure I finished my polytechnic in business Admin.
What and who inspire you….
God is my Power: There is beauty in my broken heart since I was able to identify who I am and I know that all what I went through and whatever I will face is never my battle, they all are process to another opportunities to the next level.. All I need is to find a way to pray and to look for His grace to be able to listen to what God is about to tell me for that very situation or Direction. Because I know in life, I have to break to be able to be through.
Though I learnt a lot from Oprah Winfey she INSPIRED me, I missed to meet her during WOMEN IN WORLD Conference. I have learnt to pick up my broken pieces to build my plan B, which became amazing. I have leant that I am here for a reason and that is bigger than my imagination, my thinking…Which I have to go deeper with God and able to move in real me.
Success story of our organization
The success stories D&Ksuomi foundation EOAW since 2008 is that today we can see the smile on the faces of women and children around in our field.
we have been able fight for the space that most of our young girls and women have been lacking by providing and ensuring women to get the opportunities they deserve.
My greatest reward is when I saw women and children were happy and sent video message of what God has used me for. I am so grateful and I felt like I am on my way to my goal..That is what I was called to do.
Where I see our Organisation in 5 years
In the next five years D&Ksuomi Foundation of Empowerment Of African Women..Between now and five years, we will be able to accomplished our goal on eradicating poverty throughout Africa with the plan of BlackGirlsLand which would be free education Centre for Africa girls and we will as well reach a Lange amount of women for the micro loan business.
Do you think women in the advocacy and development sector are appreciated enough?
I will say yes. Women in advocacy are less appreciated due to the disregard of their efforts, by saying women are not capable of the work that is required to be at Top
As a woman we need to believe in our self as pillar to build a solid foundation and to embrace the power in us can make a change. We need to let go of what the world is painting women that Women are not capable of doing the work that is required at the top.Women do not have the desire to be at the top,the change we need in our society is not require gender , These are structural preventing women from reaching the top and women in advocacy need to be appreciate more in our society.
Other projects and activities
BlackGirlsLand is one the programme that DKsuomi Foundation is working on. BlackGirlsLand is a mentorship program that works to improve the lives of Black women and girls in our communities, mostly throughout the Africa.
The main mission is to improve girls’ perspective towards education and Increasing girls’ sense of worth, giving encouragement to girls and provide support by helping Black girls to become self-sufficient in all areas.
Also, The pen is my power, Permission to heal; a sister to sister healing process for women going through abusive life , the D&Ksuom Humanitarian awards and the annual international conference which will be held in Nigeria this year.
Any plans to come back home and contribute to Nation building
I cry for my Nation, that is where I come from, it is my Image…my work is base there.We have a land in Nigeria to build the BLACKGIRLSLAND center. The micro business loan that will start in March 2018 is to support women and children of Africa. I calL STAR, they are my HIDDEN HEROS because I believe in them and the inner talents are hidden within them . Also, I am working towards my Cosmetics lines in Nigeria.
Giving hope makes me a Woman of Rubies
What makes me a woman of Rubies hmm, living a life of giving Hope for people in need, been the voice for the voiceless is Doing what i was called to do, to secure life for women and children Because the role of women in society has been greatly overseen in the last few decades and i am bless to be part of the solution.
Final word for a woman or girl out there who is presently going through abuse and keeping silent…
I want you all to know that we cannot keep silent than to break the silent, Breaking the silence is a big medication to your healing process and you have to let go your past and embrace the new you. Pick up your pieces and reform it to build a new you. There is power in all your broken heart; you have the power to change your life. Its written in there. All you have to do is to identify who you are, and remember before you can have a breakthrough in life, you have to break to be able to be through.
If I can make it….you can do better.